By Chris Kavan - 11/10/21 at 08:06 PM CT
It was another win for the MCU over the weekend, but it was not without drama as Eternals opened with a mixed reaction from critic and audiences alike. In the Ratings Bulletin we have a few big-name films to talk about as well, so let's get to the good stuff.
While Academy-Award winning director Chloé Zhao may have assembled an impressive cast for Eternals, it was no Avengers for critics, with the film earning the distinction of being the first MCU films to earn a dreaded rotten rating with just 47% on Rotten Tomatoes. That didn't seem to dissuade audiences too much as it still opened easily on top with $71.2 million, though it did open behind fellow MUC films Black Widow ($80.4 million) and Shang-Chi ($75.4 million). Audience also gave it the lowest rating among the MCU films to date with a "B" Cinemascore. Although I have not seen it yet myself. I can't imagine it can be worse than Thor: The Dark World or Iron Man 2.... but I'll have to wait and see on that. The other big news on the international front was that a handful of Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, decided to drop the film over its LGBTQ representation. That didn't seem to hurt it much, either, as the film took in $90.7 million overseas, for a worldwide total of nearly $162 million - the second biggest opening for a North American film and just a hair behind F9's $163 million total. All in all, that is still a solid showing and we'll have to see if its mixed reactions lead to a harsher drop in the coming weeks.
With the MCU Juggernaut in full swing, that left Denis Villeneuve's Dune in the dust, with a distant second-place total of $7.79 million. That was a fall of nearly 50% but enough to give the Frank Herbert adaptation a $84.1 million total. Adding in nearly $250 million from overseas and the sci-fi epic has topped $330 million worldwide.
In third place with find No Time to Die, which managed to dip a light 22.1% and retain its third place position with just over $6 million for a new $143 million domestic total. The last outing for Daniel Craig as Bond also earned nearly $525 million abroad for a worldwide total of $667.5 million.
Coming in fourth place and actually rising one position over last weekend. Venom: Let There Be Carnage also dipped a light 22.4% and managed a $4.46 million weekend and a new $197 million domestic total, well on its way to $200 million here shortly. With another $227.6 million overseas, the film is just shy of $435 million worldwide.
Rounding out the top five, Ron's Gone Wrong jumped back into the top five, dropping under 5% and adding $3.57 million to its total, which has hit $17.55 million. With nearly $29 million overseas, the film sits at $46.5 million total.
Just outside the top five, The French Dispatch continued to expand and landed in the 6th place position with $2.58 million - nearly even with last weekend - as its total hit $8.4 million.
In related indie news, Spencer, with an award-worthy performance from Kristen Stewart, opened to $2.1 million for 996 theaters and a solid, if not quite jaw-dropping $2,113 per-theater average.
Next weekend will bring us the family-friendly - and possibly nightmare-inducing - live-action version of Clifford the Big Red Dog. I don't think Eternals has much to worry about here.
In our regular update we have a trio of new films - a biopic starring a classic sitcom couple, a nail-biting actioner and a teen-centric arthouse look into our animalistic nature.
In terms of straight-up action, we've been in a drought as of late. But that's all about to change when Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza González deliver us an Ambulance. Our premise is thus: Will Sharp (Abdul-Mateen II), war veteran, faces some steep medical bills in order to care for his wife - over $200,000 to be exact. Seeing no other option he reaches out to his adoptive brother, Danny (Gyllenhaal) who has a sure-fire plan to get him the money he needs - and much, much more should he so desire. But, of course, the sure-fire bank heist goes wrong and the duo find themselves with no other option than to take control of an ambulance with a wounded cop and an EMT (González), leading police - who don't want to take out a fellow brother-in-arms - on a chase throughout the city. Helicopters, crashes, lots of bullets - all you could want in a straight-up action film with a probably moral core. This is the kind of honest throwback that is sure to bring in a testosterone-fueled audience. Rated R for intense violence, bloody images and language throughout.
For those looking for a more... refined experience, we have Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as one of TV's most famous on (and off) screen couples in Being the Ricardos. Taking place over the course of a single day - the fate of which could spell doom for their television show and marriage - we follow Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in this high stakes biopic. Taking on such iconic roles is a huge task, but both Kidman and Bardem have the chops to pull such a stunt off - and they have plenty of support with the likes of J.K. Simmons, Jake Lacy, Alia Shawkat, Nina Arianda, Tony Hale and Clark Gregg helping things along. It also helps that TV and film veteran Aaron Sorkin is writing and directing this feature. We'll see if this can hit one out of the park. Rated R for language.
Our last major film is also the most, uh, subjective out of the bunch. When you throw around words like "high-concept arthouse drama" in your initial description, you're just asking for trouble and Wolf looks like it's cranking up the weird factor to 11. The film follows a group of young adults - including George MacKay, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn O'Shea, Terry Notary and Lola Petticrew who identify as animals. MacKay is our "wolf", Depp is a wildcat and Petticrew is a parrot - with our Zookeeper being played by Paddy Considine. It looks as bizarre as that of The Lobster - but I actually turned out liking that one despite the insane premise so, who knows, maybe this will turn out to be just as... distinctive (though, let's be clear - as talented as Nathalie Biancheri might be... you can't compete with sheer brilliance/insanity of Yorgos Lanthimos). As such, I can't think this will draw in a huge audience just because of its unique nature but it could become an instant cult must-see. Rated R for some abusive behavior, sexuality, nudity and language.
Those are the big three for this week, but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:
Rated R for intense violence, bloody images and language throughout.
BEING THE RICARDOS
Rated R for language.
Rated R for sexual content, language, some drug use and brief nudity.
Rated PG-13 for strong violence and strong language.
TWO DEATHS OF HENRY BAKER
Rated R for violence, language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use.
Rated R for some abusive behavior, sexuality, nudity and language.
THE WOLF AND THE LION
Rated PG for thematic elements, language and some peril.
THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD
Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and some language.